Participatory Mid Term Review of Business Development Services: Pilot Exercise in ISSIA
Strømme Foundation (SF) as part of the support services within the Micro Finance thematic area and wanting to explore more ways to fulfill its mission of poverty eradication, has seen the need to promote Talent Funding/Business Development Services (TF/BDS), as it is referred to within SF. It recognized that financial services alone was inadequate for enterprise development, but other Business Development Services (BDS) e.g. the need for market information, marketing services, business skills, competencies in design and technical solutions, access to business consultancy and awareness to overcome unfair or rigid regulations which are all areas that can be addressed through TF/BDS. In keeping with the best practices in BDS, SF wanted to explore ways for MFIs' clients to get access to BDS.The Business Development Services programme in ISSIA is a result of a request from the Micro Finance Institution to SF, to help set up business development training for ISSIA's clients, through private sector delivery of training services. A training needs assessment took place in November 2001, while the first pilot training was held in April, the full programme was started in July 2002 after necessary modifications. The midterm review was scheduled for early 2003 in the hope that trainees would have had the opportunity to apply and implement some of the learning into their businesses.